Apple Dumplings

baked dumplings

Amelia Simmons, America’s first cookbook author, was passionate about apples. Here’s what she wrote in American Cookery (1796):

“Apples…are highly useful in families, and ought to be universally cultivated, excepting in the compactest cities. There is not a single family but might set a tree in some otherwise useless spot, which might serve the twofold use of shade and fruit; on which 12 or 14 kinds of fruit trees might easily be engrafted, and essentially preserve the orchard from the intrusions of boys, &c. which is too common in America.”

Living as I do in one of the “compactest cities,” I have no spot for an apple tree. But I do live a block from a farmers’ market with a huge variety of apples. I bought some Golden Delicious the other day and decided to make apple dumplings, a dish that was popular in Simmons’s time. Continue reading